A few years ago, I created a very modest travel bucket list. After my latest travel experience aboard the MSC Divina cruise ship, I have modified the list to include only 1 destination, The World!
As a travel agent, I’ve been blessed with the flexibility and opportunity to check off destinations quickly. Up until recently, I’d jump on a plane, anxiety and all to reach my destination. Even with flight anxiety, the idea of taking a cruise was not a method of transportation I had considered.
Thoughts filled my mind, like, What I am going to do “stuck” on a ship? What if there’s bad weather? Will I have enough time to do anything while at Port? There was just no way I wouldn’t be “bored” on a Cruise. Boy, was I wrong!
MSC Cruises was hosting a Seminar at Sea, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and see what all this cruise stuff was about. My hesitation turned into excitement, when I learned we would be on the Eastern Caribbean route bound for St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
We flew into Fort Lauderdale and took the short commute to the Miami Port, where we were greeted by the 1,094 ft and 139,072 gross ton beauty named the MSC Divina.
Check in was a breeze, as our luggage was whisked away and the smiling crew of MSC took over leading us through check in and onto the ship. We arrived just in time for the mandatory Muster Drill where we learned what to do, just in case of an emergency.
After our safety briefing we made our way to our Balcony Stateroom, where our luggage awaited and so did the best Cabin Attendant ever, Kadek. For the entire 8 days, Kadek provided us with a friendly attitude and the most welcoming hospitality. I knew we were off to a fantastic start!
A glance at the daily program revealed that there was no time to be bored on the ship! There was morning Rumba Dance Lessons, afternoon Mega Jenga Challenges and evening entertainment at the Pantheon Theatre! But, if you’re on the Divina to relax and get some sun, head over to the aft garden pool. The view is incredible and so is the bar staff. We enjoyed their sense of humor and impromptu dance along to “Waka Waka – This time for Africa.” I should have caught it on camera! All of these little moments contributed to our overall unforgettable experience on the MSC Divina.
Dining on the Divina was a treat! The Breakfast Buffet covered health conscious selections like fresh fruit with yogurt and granola to a hearty omelet with a side of bacon. Being a Mediterranean ship, you can imagine the homemade pizzas and pasta that were prepared daily. Lunch included carving stations, fresh vegetables, fruit and cheese and my favorite, a salad bar. We enjoyed our evenings at the Villa Rosa Restaurant. As a cruise newbie, themed dinners were new to me, but an experience I truly enjoyed. The combination of themed attire and dinner, along with community seating encouraged guests to mingle and get to know each other. I couldn’t have asked to be paired with a better group of ladies! Every night, we were presented a delicious new menu of soups, salads, appetizers, entrees and desserts. If you consider eating an activity, it’s the one we participated in the most. Thankfully, we had plenty of opportunity to burn calories while exploring the different ports!
St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas have no shortage of activities, shopping markets, tours, restaurants and bars. MSC Cruises provides several shore excursions that can be pre purchased and confirmed prior to your departure. While at port, there’s plenty of time to explore iconic locations, like the Princess Juliana International Airport, Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Paradise Island. Cruising gives you the unique ability to sample multiple destinations, cultures, foods and excursions in a short time. It’s safe to say we loved every minute of our experience with MSC Cruises and cannot wait to go back!
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